I used to love Kids in the Hall. Back in college when it used to be on regular TV (CBC) at regular times, most of my friends watched it. Kids’ episodes would sometimes become shorthand for what was “really” going on in our worlds.
I used to love Kids in the Hall and I have had a couple of rough weeks. Mainly, a recurring recurrence of the symptoms of what sent me to the bottom of the pit a few years ago. Depression. Or in psych-speak, a “severe major depressive episode.” Last time, I was down for a few years. This time, a few days. It may have been scarier this time, though, because I recognized it. My brain wasn’t working so well. I was getting confused on small things. My words were getting stalled in my brain and on my tongue–they wouldn’t come out quite right. There was some stammering. I’d come into the house and start crying, unprovoked. I tried to work, and not cry at work. My sleep was wonky. I knew something was wrong.
I also, however, know what I need to be doing to keep on track. Eat healthy foods. Exercise daily. Take time to meditate. Stay away from stress. Manage the amount of stuff I do in a day, a week, a month. Go to acupuncture.
Was I doing these good things? Well, some of them.
I am religious about acupuncture. I have been preparing and eating tons of fresh veggies and fruits, and avoiding processed foods. Exercise? Every two or three or four days. Meditate? It has been months. Stress? Well, it’s month thirteen of building a house, the final stretch of editing a dense and demanding course full of bias, and the season of trying to figure out how to navigate the holidays while accommodating everyone in a blended family. I just started trying to launch a new business, my first. And I have been pushing myself to work longer hours to get product in the shop and figure out the details.
Among it all, I had a moment. Well, two, actually, over the course of two weeks. One lasted about four days, and the other, about two. When I came out of the second, I realized that my behaviour has been contributing to the episodes occurring: by not doing what I know works for me, and by doing what I know doesn’t work for me.
So, after surviving another difficult-to-describe difficult patch, Kids in the Hall shorthand called.
Conference guy: “What did my mother say about taking care of my eyes? Never put salt in your eyes. Never put–never put–put salt in your eyes. Always put salt in your eyes.” I have been (metaphorically!) sitting at the boring, pointless conference table, putting salt in my eyes. Now that I know, I can stop.
If you think that you might be experiencing symptoms of depression, talk to an attentive doctor. There are also reasonably useful tools online, like the mayo clinic’s depression self-assessment.
Also, I discovered last week that a blog that I found helpful when I was at the bottom is still around. Check out Beyond Blue.